Should I give a Rosary to a non-Catholic???

One of my son’s friends was just in a horrible auto accident and he has brain damage. His mom is beside herself. I want to visit and bring a rosary and tell her not only will I be praying, but that the Rosary has special powers, and that “all the company of angels and saints, and Mary” are on their side, for healing. She goes to a very Fundamentalist Church. Is this appropriate? What do you all think?
I’ve given another Protestant friend a rosary --just because I wanted to, because I so believe in it’s power through our Lord–that it’s such a gift to us Christians. I mentioned this to this other friend whom I gave it too. Was also thinking of having it blessed first by a priest.

Any thoughts?

I would be careful if she hasn’t asked for one. You may approach her telling her you will be praying for her son, and explain that you will pray the rosary for him. At that point, you can offer the rosary. You might say something like, “I know our faiths aren’t exactly the same, but I just wanted to offer you something that comforts me in my times of trouble.” Just don’t be offended or hurt if she refuses it. And of course, if she doesn’t accept the rosary, ask if there is something she needs or something you can do for her. Don’t be afraid to pray with her right there.

Unless you know of some special hatred this person has for Catholic beliefs, I would say go ahead. A normal person in this kind of situation will appreciate the gesture, even if they don’t agree with the teaching. I wouldn’t go to deeply into explanations about the rosary because it is not the time or place.

  1. If she shrieks and tears up the rosary and bodily throws you out of the room, she has serious personality problems.

  2. If she goes into a long theological diatribe about how the rosary-- and by extension Catholics-- are wrong, she must not be grieving very much anyway.

  3. If she smiles and says “no thanks” and hands it back, be gracious, respect her views, and don’t take it personally. At least you will have performed an act of charity from your heart, which is all that really matters.

  4. If she gratefully accepts it no matter her views, trust God that she will derive comfort from it and that Our Lady will join her in her prayers.

A gift given out of love is just that.

A beautiful thought - but may not be appreciated for what it is.
How about a nice blessed crucifix? Something that her faith appreciates and understands? She can keep it in the hospital. Or a small crucifix on a chain that she can hang in the room, then her child can wear after recovery?

Just a thought regarding giving her a crucifix. Keep in mind that many fundamentalists are as bothered by the crucifix as they are the rosary. Regardless of what you decide to giver her, do what feels right in your heart, just be prepared in case she refuses the gift.

I wouldn’t offer her any symbol of Catholicism at this time. She might see it as insensitive on your part when you only mean to be kind. Rather, let her know you will be praying for her and her son and be supportive of her. Times of grief are not usually good times to try to evangelize non-Catholics with sacramentals of the Catholic faith. It might do the opposite of what you want and turn her completely off to Catholicism and to you. Do pray the rosary and feel free to mention that you are offering a rosary for her son, but don’t offer her one unless she indicates that she would want it.

sparkle, I agree with your original idea.

Yes, there is a chance that you may be rebuffed, but that should not be a reason for you to not offer her the Rosary.

It would be a different matter altogether if you were trying some hard-care evangelisazation tactics while she is upset, but you’re not.

I think that people are so put-off by non-Catholic proselitizers that they go overboard in the opposite direction, by actually becoming mute about their own faith. This should not happen.

Your intentions are of the best kind and your suggested approach is appropriate.

[quote=Della]Do pray the rosary and feel free to mention that you are offering a rosary for her son, but don’t offer her one unless she indicates that she would want it.
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Thanks for responding Della–but why would a non-Catholic Fundamentalist ever say they would “want” a Rosary?

Do you share your faith with others? Or only wait until they ask for you to. Just curious.

as a convert to catholicism, i would definitely - definitely - suggest that you not give people rosaries who are grieving.

even if they ‘graciously accept’ it, they will probably, unless you have a strong relationship with them (which i assume you don’t, since you’re asking our opinion), throw it away. and it will cause them, most probably, to reinforce their ideas that we catholics are mary worshippers and idolators. the person might also suspect that you are trying to use this opportunity to convert them to catholicism.

i would, above all, love the person. usually, loving someone means finding the way in which THEY receive love, and giving it to them. it was posted in an earlier post: ‘At least you will have performed an act of charity from your heart, which is all that really matters.’ i would take issue with the way this is stated. it makes it sound like, as long as we give them something in ‘an act of charity’, even if we don’t take the time to learn how they would receive the act, ‘that’s all that matters. we’ve done our part. if they’re offended, that’s their problem.’

in times like the loss of a loved one, or when in pain, it’s often best to steer clear of doctrinal issues, and especially intertraditional dialog. in times like those, it’s best just to be there, and to love. if you want to express your faith, let them know you’re praying for them, perhaps get them a card.

anything in the way of something so obviously catholic as a rosary, i fear, will be taken the wrong way.

as i said, if you KNOW the person well enough that they will KNOW what you mean by it, then you needn’t ask our advice at all. you KNOW how they’ll take it. but if you’re not sure, steer away from anything that divides rather than unites us with our protestant brothers.

you asked: ‘Do you share your faith with others? Or only wait until they ask for you to.’

i would submit that this time, in the moment of loss, is not a great time to ‘share your faith with others’. even among people with the same or very similar beliefs, what they want - and need- to hear (if anything) are reassurances of love and support. anything more than that, even a well intentioned ‘they’re in God’s hands’ or ‘just trust God to take care of them’ can sound preachy and condescending.

i pray God loves your friend through your life.

[quote=Della]I wouldn’t offer her any symbol of Catholicism at this time. She might see it as insensitive on your part when you only mean to be kind. Rather, let her know you will be praying for her and her son and be supportive of her. Times of grief are not usually good times to try to evangelize non-Catholics with sacramentals of the Catholic faith. It might do the opposite of what you want and turn her completely off to Catholicism and to you. Do pray the rosary and feel free to mention that you are offering a rosary for her son, but don’t offer her one unless she indicates that she would want it.
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:amen:

Any gesture that would require an explanation for why you’re offering it would unnecessarily complicate your intended message.

Remember… a rosary is NOT a magical talisman. Yes, it IS a weapon… yet remember the value of the weapon is in the use of it. And knowing what that weapon even IS not to mention HOW to use it correctly is critical.

I would not take this as an opportunity to offer a rosary to her son or to her. Maybe not even mention that you’re saying a rosary yourself for her son and her. Just because she probably wouldn’t realize what it is that you’re doing.

Yes… go ahead… say a prayer for her son, and for her. Just tell her before you depart her company that you’ll continue to say prayers for him. Later, once you’ve parted, say another one – make it a rosary.

Most critical… just tell your friend that you are praying.

Even better… offer to lead her in prayer with you at that moment. Not the rosary (because it would require explaining and instruction – which is the very LAST thing you want to have to do at this time).

Just say a very simple prayer WITH your friend right then and there… in a familiar format for your friend… naming the sick person and your friend’s name… with the phrase “in Jesus’ name”… and maybe starting with the Lord’s Prayer (the Protestant version with the “for Thine is the…” phrase that Protestants put on it).

Remember… “where two or more are gathered in Your name”

:gopray2: :gopray2: :angel1: :bible1: :heart:

I would take a long second thought. Many fundamentalists consider Rosaries, cricifixes and other sacred art and sacramentals “idolatrous”. Now might not be the time to do apologetic work on the grieving mother, but I would worry about the sacramentals you give, especially if they are blessed. Anti-Catholics are known to destroy them. I cannot eliminate the possibility that they may accept it, then dispose of it in secret, so as not to offend you. I would hesitate to place blessed sacramentals in danger of desecration, since they have been committed to a sacred purpose.

I think just assuring them of your prayers is enough.

[quote=sparkle]Do you share your faith with others? Or only wait until they ask for you to. Just curious.
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This is one of those times where I believe it is not appropriate to try for a conversion.

You can share your faith as a Christian without making her feel obligated in her time of great suffering to deal with a Catholic sacramental that she has likely been told is “idolatrous”. Visit her and her son, offer to pray with her. Give her a book of devotional prayers for solace and healing, or a cross to put near her son’s bed. Tell her that you will continue to pray for her and that you will write her son’s name in your parish’s book of prayer intentions (and then go do it) so everyone at your church can pray for him as well. When you pray for him, you could pray the rosary. If you don’t think that she will be offended, perhaps later you could offer her the rosary (after the initial shock of the accident has worn off), and explain that it has given you great comfort in times of need. If she accepts it offer to answer her questions but don’t say anything else about it unless she asks.

If she understands now that you are a fellow believer in Christ who wants to help them through this crisis, she will be likely more receptive to hearing about Catholicism later, when the grief is not so immediate. I’ll keep them in my prayers, as I’m sure everyone else here will.

Sparkle, I would share Gods love with this person. I would ask if she would like prayer and if she said yes I would pray right there and then.There is so much power and healing in Gods Word. What greater gift could you give her? :wink:

[quote=sparkle]One of my son’s friends was just in a horrible auto accident and he has brain damage. His mom is beside herself. I want to visit and bring a rosary and tell her not only will I be praying, but that the Rosary has special powers, and that “all the company of angels and saints, and Mary” are on their side, for healing. She goes to a very Fundamentalist Church. Is this appropriate? What do you all think?
I’ve given another Protestant friend a rosary --just because I wanted to, because I so believe in it’s power through our Lord–that it’s such a gift to us Christians. I mentioned this to this other friend whom I gave it too. Was also thinking of having it blessed first by a priest.
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One would hope she would appreciate the sentiment … but a “Very Fundamentalist” person might take offense.

Earlier this year, I brought a religious candle to one of my hospice patients. She was Hispanic and Pentecostal, I used to read the Bible to her during my visits. At the time I brought the candle (because it was in Spanish) she was near death, and not concious. Her family declined the candle, because it was “Catholic”. The candle said only “Nuestro Senor Jesus Cristo”, not Sacred Heart or anything like that, and I brought it only to let her know I had been thinking of her.
The family liked me enough to not be offended by my gesture, still, they would not accept the candle. [Silly me, thinking we had the same Jesus!]

You’d be incorrect in suggesting that the physical rosary has special powers … it is only the prayers that have powers, and those whose intercession we invoke. Bringing a religious object to someone that doesn’t understand that could cause confusion, perhaps offense. What you can do is to say that you will offer a rosary on behalf of this family, or perhaps pray with your rosary at the bedside, and then if she asks, you can give her one.

In this case, a handwritten note offering your prayers is probably the best way to start.

Maria

Thank you all for your replies.

I will take into consideration your advice for sure.

As a former “Fundamentalist” --who was “searching” for something more out there–something deeper --if someone would have handed me a rosary when I was grieving or someone was sick in my family, I would have grabbed it sooo fast and begged to know more about it. It would have been a real comfort to me, even though I knew nothing about it.!!
So guess everyone is so different.

I would want to give it NOT at all with the intention of converting, but just for them to have something tangible to pray with as well, to hold in their hand, etc. as well as just telling someone you are praying for them. So --thanks for the thoughts. Have to think more about this one. The boy is still in the hospital, and will pay a visit soon.

my sister married the son of a Baptist minister many years ago, and recently when one of his brother’s died, and widow faced her own chronic illness, two kids to raise, they asked prayers. My sister asked me for a rosary, and started praying it. Then all the other relatives asked for it, with directions for praying it, so I sent a ton of rosaries and prayer leaflets, and a scriptural rosary book. then she asked for a crucifix, I sent a plain cross, trying to be sensitive, but her MOL wanted a real crucifix, blessed, so I sent one from the Holy Land. Now my sister is back to attending Catholic church, SIL is going to RCIA never underestimate the power of prayer. Oh, I also had everybody in my rosary cenacle, Oblate group, several congregations of nuns and all kids in CCD praying for SIL and family at the same time.

I’d give her the rosary, but would accompany it with that cool little book “The Scripture Rosary,” as well as a guide that includes the new mysteries AND a guide to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (I love this devotion!). I would explain to her flat out that you’re giving it as a token of love and concern and that you’ll understand if she doesn’t want to use them. At the very worst, she’ll probably look at them and remember your care.

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